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Under the Hood: E is for editing Inside N&E, PR musings, Under the Hood

I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to editing.

It all started in college. In addition to journalism, I also majored in English with a concentration in writing. I worked in the Writing Center as a tutor for underclassmen and also copy edited for the school newspaper (one of the many posts I held during my four years with the Cardinal Courier). My classmates loved asking me to critique their work, and friends in other majors would ask me to read their papers, too. My favorite class was copy editing and design. Associated Press style quizzes were fun. I got an internship on the copy desk at the Democrat and Chronicle my senior year and was hired full time shortly after.

I get paid to edit news releases, but I edit everything I read. Greeting cards (There was a mistake in one of my goodbye cards from the paper. “No one” was hyphenated. Wrong.) Menus (No, I don’t want green papers in my quesadilla, I’d like green peppers). Even coupons (Click here for this oopsie from Wegmans.)

Before you all think I’m an editing goddess with a magical red pen, there’s a distinction that needs to be made here. Just because I like editing doesn’t mean I’m awesome at it. I make mistakes and I miss mistakes. Sometimes big ones. Even though being wrong drives me crazy, that’s how I learn and that’s what makes me better. Better at my own writing. And better at finding other people’s mistakes.

I know you like finding other people’s mistakes, too. (C’mon, admit it!) Let’s have some fun! Tweet me @MarieDLang with fun little typos you see out in the world today, or with some good classics. Tag it #oopsies. Happy hunting!

  1. Mike Saffran
    Apr 11

    I am the exact same way: I cannot read anything — including pleasure reading — without “editing” it (even if it’s just in my mind, without actually marking up the copy). I’m not sure whether being “typo hunters” is a blessing or a curse for us — but when it comes to actual editing, it’s really just having high standards (and I wouldn’t want it any other way when it comes to writing that we put our name on). As former University News colleague Kathy Lindsley was famous (in Brown Hall) for saying, “Everyone needs an editor.”

  2. Marie Lang
    Apr 11

    Ha, everyone DOES need an editor! Even me! Mindy was kind enough to point out a typo in my very blog about editing. :)

  3. Jack Rosenberry
    Apr 11

    It's kind of Marie to say that copy editing was her favorite class. As her teacher, I can say she didn't need much in the way of instruction. She was literally a natural at finding and fixing errors large and small. Of course, she was so good at it she wrecked the curve for everyone else!

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